For some reason, this month’s Secret Recipe Club was a challenge for me. I blame it entirely on myself and my I-have-a-7-week-old brain, not on my assigned blogger, Claire K Creations. Claire is a lovely blogger from Australia and a newlywed – she recently celebrated her 1-year anniversary.
She takes some gorgeous pictures, like this one of her birthday Pinata Cake. Isn’t it beautiful, wild, and so fun?
I am in no place to attempt such majesty, though, and decided instead to try my hand at this Flourless Chocolate Lime Cake. On my first attempt, however, I had some trouble converting the metric to cup measurements. (Math is not my strongpoint. I have my math teacher husband for that.) The baby was screaming the whole time. And on top of that, I had a comedy of errors.
The recipe calls for almond meal or flour, which is just ground up almonds. So I thought hey, I can do that. But instead, my food processor whizzed right by almond meal and made almond butter. (OK, again, I was a little distracted.) So I thought I might make ground pecans instead. And the same thing happened. No meal. Just nut butter. Poo.
So my first version had regular flour. And I think I might have put brown sugar in it?? DISTRACTED MUCH? That’s not even in the recipe. It was not bad, but it wasn’t great. I think it was overcooked and just not right.
First version of the cake: It was flatter and I could hardly taste the lime.
Thankfully, the second version turned out much better. Although when I discovered that almond flour cost $12 a bag, I bought brown rice flour instead. So it’s still gluten-free … but not exactly FLOUR free, per say. For a true flourless cake, use almond meal. I also forgot to buy another lime, so I used an orange instead. Mmm. The orange flavor is really bright. The brown rice flour did lend to a slightly grainy texture … but for gluten-free cake, I think it’s pretty good!
A dense, fudgy, gluten-free cake. Mix it up with different chocolates or a different citrus fruit! Whipped cream on top is a MUST to balance the dark chocolate.
150 grams dark chocolate (about 5.3 ounces)
12 T butter
1 1/4 c. white sugar (superfine or caster if you have it)
1 c. almond meal or brown rice flour
4 tsp. cocoa powder
juice and zest of one orange
powdered sugar for dusting
In a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, put butter (cut into slices) and broken-up chocolate. Microwave for one minute and stir. Microwave for additional 30 seconds increments until completely melted and smooth. For me, this just took one 30-second zap after the one minute.
With an electric mixer, beat together eggs and sugar until tripled in size, fluffy and pale yellow, mousse-like.
Sift flour/almond meal and cocoa. Gently fold into egg mixture. (You can use your mixer's lowest speed.) Slowly drizzle in chocolate mixture while continuing on lowest speed or folding gently. Stir in orange zest and juice.
Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and grease well. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes. Start checking it after 35 minutes. The cake should be firm on top but still a little jiggly below.
If you don't want the top of the cake to crack, after it's cooled for half an hour put a dish towel over it. Cool completely in pan. Once cool, transfer to a plate and dust with powdered sugar.
I wasn’t sure I was going to make a second attempt at the cake, so I also got ingredients for Claire’s Butter Chicken in the Slow Cooker. Staying right on course, I absolutely could not find any tandoori paste. So I had to go with mild curry paste.
The chicken was tasty but I think it could have used an extra kick. I don’t know what’s in tandoori, but maybe that would have done it? If you use curry paste, maybe use a less mild one or add some red pepper flakes. (Libbie, however, thought it was delicious! So it’s 4-year-old approved.)
I also don’t think it’s terribly authentic, so don’t go spreading this around as a real butter chicken recipe. Something I read said the real key ingredient to butter chicken is fenugreek, which does not appear here.
Yield: 6-8 servings (for 8 servings, I\'d throw in a few extra thighs)
Don't be overwhelmed by all the spices! This is fairly simple to throw together and a fun, ethnic meal to shake it up some.
This recipe is gluten-free. It can also be vegan if you wanted to substitute tofu or use sweet potatoes, use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, a vegan margarine, and coconut milk instead of sour cream.
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts (thighs are best so they don't dry out)
2 T butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. powdered ginger
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
3/4 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. tandoori or curry paste
14.5 oz. diced tomatoes, drained
14 oz. crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 c. chicken stock
1 T brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/3 c. sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1 T nut butter (almond or cashew preferable)
Place chicken and butter in slow cooker. In a large bowl, mix together everything from onion to black pepper. Stir together well and pour over chicken.
Cook on low 6-8 hours. During the last hour, take the lid partway off so the liquid will thicken.
After cooking time, shred the chicken in the crockpot. Add sour cream and nut butter and stir well. Serve over rice. (For a good Indian meal, you could also have naan and raita.